Jim Carrey‘s shocking refusal to promote Kick-Ass 2 might the greatest possible favor he could have done for that movie in the short term. Right after Carrey made his pronouncement on Twitter, the volume of young potential ticket buyers who clicked on the trailer experienced an EKG-level spike between Sunday and yesterday. Carrey’s Colonel character is all over that trailer and his performance looks bizarre and funny. Additionally, attention to Carrey’s Twitter was at or near the top of Twitter trending following his Kick-Ass 2 post. “He probably did more to raise awareness for this movie by refusing to promote it than if he’d done a round of talk shows,” said a knowledgeable observer. Despite this, I feel the need to call bullshit on his moralistic stance, the idea he cannot support Kick-Ass 2 because he can’t condone its violence in the wake of the massacre of children in Newtown, CT by a deranged kid who killed his mother and used her arsenal of legally obtained semi-automatic weapons to perpetrate a horrifying murder spree. I’ve been a big Jim Carrey fan since even before a new superstar comedy career was born with Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. But I think he’s flat-out wrong here, and short-sighted.
You might recall that Carrey unexpectedly sought out this sequel because he was such a big fan of the original. He even wore the Kick-Ass costume in this duet with Conan O’Brien. That film he liked so much was just as cartoon violent as this sequel. Carrey has not only turned his back on his cohorts, he completely blows an opportunity to use this movie as a platform to discuss his opinions on: the availability of guns; an NRA lobby that has so co-opted federal lawmakers that that they would not in the wake of Newtown enact measures to simply require better background checks in gun sales; the depiction of gun violence in movies (The New York Times astutely notes that nearly every star in every summer movie poster is holding a gun); and how this toxic stew leaves the country just waiting for the next massacre by a troubled person with easy access to semi-automatic weapons. (more…)